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RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup — Final day highlights

Posted on 17 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing

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Team Aqua snatch victory in Virgin Gorda

Posted on 17 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44 Class] Peninsula Petroleum had led the RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup since day one, for the final day all they needed to do was stick with the same format; consistency and staying out of trouble. But the day didn’t go to plan for the Gibraltar based team, allowing Chris Bake’s Team Aqua to snatch victory on the final race of the event.

Racing was again inside Virgin Gorda’s North Sound. As the fleet got underway Peninsula Petroleum were given a red flag penalty off the startline of the day’s opening race, putting them to the back of the fleet. Vasco Vascotto calling the shots for John Bassadone got the team back in touch with the fleet by the second beat. But a port-starboard incident with Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge, saw the Russian team head back into the dock with a gaping hole in the side of their RC44 and retire from racing.

Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge’s owner driver Vladimir Liubomirov spoke on the dock after limping ashore, “It’s really shifty on the race course today, the lead changing every minute. On the last upwind leg we were in about fourth position, maybe third, sailing on starboard; Peninsula Petroleum were on port, and it was just a classic situation. They couldn’t avoid us and now we have a big hole in our boat, so it is not possible to race for the rest of the day. We lose two races, which for us is not good, but sometimes it happens, it’s all part of racing.”

Peninsula Petroleum collides with Gazprom Youth Challenge and loses the opportunity to win the RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup

Peninsula Petroleum fitted a new crash box to their bow and got back onto the race course, but now counting a DSQ (black flag disqualification) and three extra penalty points, putting Team Aqua on equal points with the leaders. Bombarda’s race win, moved the Italian team up, within two-points of the leading pair.

Team Aqua relish a comeback, and having got themselves back within touching distance of the lead, they turned the pressure dial up on their competitors. A safe start in the middle of the line followed a close first beat where the whole fleet approached the windward mark on the port layline. Chris Bake’s team squeezed round in front of Artemis Racing, then led to the finish line. Their main opposition Peninsula Petroleum finished fifth, Bombarda blowing their kite out on the final run, took eighth.

Going into the final race Team Aqua had a four point lead over Peninsula Petroleum with Bombarda and Synergy tied five points adrift.

Neither Bombarda or Team Aqua got the best of starts in the final race. Peninsula rounded the top mark fourth, Aqua two places back. As Lunajets Aleph extended their lead at the front of the fleet, Peninsula was on a charge, up to second by the final windward mark, Aqua trailing in seventh. Down the final run, Aqua went for the early gybe, Peninsula seemed caught up in traffic, losing three places down the run, handing Aqua the win in Virgin Gorda, by just two-points.

Team Aqua have two new crew members this season, the team seem to have gelled straight away. Owner Chris Bake plans to keep the close knit team together for the whole season. “We’re going to try and keep the team solid, it’s important because when the racing is this close it’s all about the crew work, everyone has to pull together and work well together. Both Jono (Swain) and Simon (Johnson) have stepped into the team and performed really well.”

Peninsula Petroleum’s disappointed owner, John Bassadone, summed up his team’s day. “We crashed in to Gazprom Youth; we were bearing away, the main got stuck, didn’t release and we went straight into them. We feel terrible for them because they had to retire and a complete disaster of a day really, especially as we were in control of the regatta with a bit of a cushion. We had a penalty at the start of that first race, got back to fourth position so everything was going well and then one big mistake and we gifted it away.”

The RC44 fleet racing in Virgin Gorda

Synergy Russian Sailing Team’s second in the final race, gave last season’s runners up the final podium position from Andrea Pozzi’s new Italian RC44 team, Bombarda.

The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda has been a perfect host this week in Virgin Gorda, a venue the class will sure be looking to return to in the near future. “Were lucky to be racing here, it’s one of the most incredible places in the. To be racing RC44’s here, they have one of the greatest formats and are one of the greatest classes around; it makes it even more special.” Cameron Appleton, Team Aqua’s match race helm and tactician.

The RC44 class now move back across the Atlantic to Cascais, Portugal for the second event of the 2014 Tour from 23-27th April.

RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup Overall Fleet Race Ranking (After 12 races)

1. Team Aqua 9 4 5 2 4 5 3 1 3 2 1 7 – 46
2. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 2 6 1 3 1 6 1 3 2 10DSQ 5 5 (3) – 48
3. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 6 2 6 4 2 1 4 8 7 6 3 2 – 51
4. Bombarda Racing 1 3 3 6 5 4 7 2 9 1 8 8 – 57
5. Artemis Racing 4 8 7 1 6 9 2 7 4 5 2 3 – 58
6. Lunajets Aleph Racing 5 5 8 5 3 3 6 4 8 3 7 1 – 58
7. Katusha 7 9 2 9 8 2 5 5 6 4 6 4 – 67
8. Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge 8 1 4 8 9 7 8 6 5 5RDG 5RDG 5RDG – 71
9. Team Nika 3 7 9 7 7 8 9 9 1 7 4 6 – 77

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Peninsula Petroleum hold on to lead at RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup

Posted on 15 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44 Class] The penultimate day of racing at the RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup didn’t see a change at the top of the overall leaderboard, Team Aqua were the most consistent performer of the day, moving them up from fourth to second, putting them in touch with leaders Peninsula Petroleum. Four races produced four different winners, in what was another stunning day of Caribbean racing for the RC44 fleet.

Racing got underway to the south of Neckar Island in 14 knots. Katusha emerged as the leader at the windward mark, an early gybe by Synergy down the first run paid, giving Valentin Zavadnikov’s Russian team the lead. A double tack by Synergy to make the top mark put Katusha back at the top, only for Synergy’s tactician Ed Baird to again call for the early gybe – a move that gave Synergy the first win of the day.

Katusha’s new helmsman Vladimir Sokolov may be new to sailing, but has proved to be a quick learner in the RC44 fleet, finishing the day with a consistent 2,5,5,6 scoreline. Tactician Andy Horton is pleased with the team’s progress this week. “Vladimir is doing a great job; he drives race cars and plays tennis so he’s a good sportsman. As we come into corners we have little tricks like, Iain (Jensen) our trimmer will point where to go whilst I count down, but it’s been pretty cool because you have to rethink all of the things that we take for granted as sailors.”

Team Nika led the fleet round the first lap of the second race, only to trawl their spinnaker after a messy drop at the leeward gate. Overall leaders, Peninsula Petroleum seized the initiative and took control of the race, Artemis Racing finishing second, and Team Aqua starting their charge up the leaderboard in third. As the wind started to drop, Team Aqua was next to take the gun, before Team Nika’s day ended on a high, winning the final race.

Team Aqua’s 5,3,1,3 scoreline moved them up into second overall, 11-points off Peninsula Petroleum, who has led the fleet from day one in Virgin Gorda. Owner John Bassadone speaking on the dock after racing said the team’s strategy for the final day was simple: “Just try to stay calm and keep sailing how we’ve been sailing to see where we end up”

RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup Overall Fleet Race Ranking
(After nine races)

1. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 2 6 1 3 1 6 1 3 2 – 25
2. Team Aqua 9 4 5 2 4 5 3 1 3 – 36
3. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 6 2 6 4 2 1 4 8 7 – 40
4. Bombarda Racing 1 3 3 6 5 4 7 2 9 – 40
5. Lunajets Aleph Racing 5 5 8 5 3 3 6 4 8 – 47
6. Artemis Racing 4 8 7 1 6 9 2 7 4 – 48
7. Katusha 7 9 2 9 8 2 5 5 6 – 53
8. Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge 8 1 4 8 9 7 8 6 5 – 56
9. Team Nika 3 7 9 7 7 8 9 9 1 – 60

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Peninsula Petroleum triumph in the long distance race at RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup

Posted on 15 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44 Class] In a change to the normal RC44 race format, the fleet switched their typical windward-leeward course for a long distance race. From Virgin Gorda’s North Sound, the fleet hoisted their kites into the Caribbean Sea, before rounding Guana Island with a long beat back to the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. After 28nm of racing where the lead changed on a number of occasions, Peninsula Petroleum took the winners gun in 3 hours 16 minutes, less than 1minute ahead of second placed Synergy Russian Sailing Team.

Team Nika took the early lead, leading the fleet out of Virgin Gorda’s North Sound. An early split saw Peninsula Petroleum, Synergy and Lunajets Aleph Racing gybe over to hug the shore line, as Nika lead the rest of the fleet who had opted to stay out to sea. Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge was forced to make an early spinnaker peel, after ripping their kite on a passing schooners mast, pushing them to the back of the fleet.

As the fleet passed Cockroach Island, a right shift favouring the trio inshore, extending their lead over the rest of the fleet. Reaching North Bay Bluff the fleet dropped their kites for a two sail reach down to Monkey Point, the southernmost tip of Guana Island. It was Peninsula Petroleum who re-hoisted their kite first with Synergy chasing hard, Aleph in third.

Synergy were next to pounce, with co-owner Leonid Lebedev at the helm they passed Peninsula Petroleum on the run up the west side of Guana Island. Synergy’s tactician Ed Baird explained their strategy. “We had really worked hard to understand this course and were confident with the decision for an early gybe on the run and it worked out nicely. Our research also told us to drop our spinnaker on the right hand side of the boat, so when we rounded the southern side of the island we were all set up on to hoist and unfortunately for them Peninsula dropped their kite on the left, which allowed us to get ahead.”

A close fetch back to Mosquito Rock saw the Russian team go low and fast, it didn’t pay, both leading boats had to tack for the Rock before re-entering the Sound. As they rounded Mosquito Rock the Gibraltar based Peninsula Petroleum had a five-boat length lead and continued to extend away as they headed to the finish line off the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. Tactician Vasco Vascotto was thrilled with the days racing “This is one of the best places you can do a coastal race, there are islands and channels that can change the racing very quickly. We are very happy with the day, the boat has been sailing nicely, the guys are doing and excellent job. We are really just enjoying the conditions and because of this the results follow. But obviously we need to keep the pressure off because we are Latin, and Latin people are very passionate, so we need to keep focused.”

Synergy held off the French, Aleph Racing, to take second. Team Aqua, with owner Chris Bake back on the helm today, closed up on the leading trio, but could only manage fourth place. Bombarda Racing finished fifth, enough to keep them in touch with Peninsula Petroleum at the top of the leaderboard.

RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup Overall Fleet Race Ranking
(After five races)

1. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 2 6 1 3 1 – 13
2. Bombarda Racing 1 3 3 6 5 – 18
3. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 6 2 6 4 2 – 20
4. Team Aqua 9 4 5 2 4 – 24
5. Artemis Racing 4 8 7 1 6 – 26
6. Lunajets Aleph Racing 5 5 8 5 3 – 26
7. Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge 8 1 4 8 9 – 30
8. Team Nika 3 7 9 7 7 – 33
9. Katusha 7 9 2 9 8 – 35

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Photo gallery: RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup – Day 2

Posted on 14 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Spectacular photos from the second day, first day of fleet racing, of the RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup:

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Peninsula Petroleum the early leader at RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup

Posted on 14 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44 Class] As the fleet racing got underway at the RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup, it was another perfect Caribbean sailing day for the fleet. 12-17 knots from the east and flat water, allowed the race committee to lay a 1.1 mile course along the North Sound, and slot in four races. Each race produced a different winner, the shifting breeze added drama and passing lanes, but at the end of the first day, the two most consistent RC44 teams were Peninsula Petroleum and Bombarda Racing.

The new Italian team, Bombarda showed the fleet they meant business by winning the opening race, followed by two thirds and a sixth to end the day second overall, just one point off the lead. Owner Andrea Pozzi hadn’t expected a race win on their first day of RC44 fleet racing, but admitted the conditions suited the team. “I like the conditions we were racing in today, the stronger winds suit me much better than the lighter winds, to win the first race was a dream.”

Peninsula Petroleum were one of two boats called over the line early in race two, then clawed their way back to sixth. Vladimir Liubomirov’s Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge took the race win. It is the fifth year in the RC44 class for Peninsula Petroleum; the Gibraltar based team finished fourth last season and are aiming high this year. Today they achieved one of their goals, consistency with a 2,6,1,3 scoreline. Owner and helmsman John Bassadone happily accepted the team’s bottle of rum, a reward for their race win, and talked through their day. “The level is so high that you can get a win and then a last in the very next race so you have to try to stay calm. We’re thrilled, there’s still a lot of racing to go but the important thing is we seem to be doing well, the guys are sailing very solidly and the results will look after themselves.”

Synergy Russian Sailing team sit third overall, two points ahead of Artemis Racing who finished their day with a race win. In a tight one design class, where no individual race can be discarded, there is little room for error, as the Swedish team’s triple Olympic medallist tactician, Iain Percy, explained. “It’s funny in this class if you have an average score of four you can normally win the event, if you have an average score of six you are almost last and that just sums how close the racing is and how important it is to be consistent. You just can’t afford those bad races, we had a couple today but it was really nice to come back with a win at the end of the day and finish on a high.”

Day two of fleet racing at the RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup will see the nine boats complete a 30 mile long distance race, before the windward-leeward racing returns for the final two days.

RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup Overall Fleet Race Ranking
(After four races)

1. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 2 6 1 3 – 12
2. Bombarda Racing 1 3 3 6 – 13
3. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 6 2 6 4 – 18
4. Artemis Racing 4 8 7 1 – 20
5. Team Aqua 9 4 5 2 – 20
6. Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge 8 1 4 8 – 21
7. Lunajets Aleph Racing 5 5 8 5 – 23
8. Team Nika 3 7 9 7 – 26
9. Katusha 7 9 2 9 – 27

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RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup – Match Race Highlights

Posted on 13 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing

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Christian Kamp, Richard Kent and Chay McIntosh join Artemis Racing

Posted on 13 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Artemis Racing] Artemis Racing announced today that it has secured the signature of Danish sailor and former Team Origin trimmer, Christian Kamp, as the team prepares for a possible 35th America’s Cup bid.

Christian was part of Luna Rossa Challenge for the 32nd America’s Cup in 2005 before joining Team Origin in 2007. For three years he campaigned with Iain Percy in the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series, TP52 and the World Match Racing Tour, winning the World title in 2010. In recognition of his achievement, he was awarded 2010 Danish Sailor of the Year. Kamp’s career highlights include three world championships, one European and three national titles, as well as more than 20 Grade 1 Level wins in match racing. More recently he sailed on board Team Aqua as trimmer in the RC44 circuit, winning the last three consecutive seasons.

On joining the team Christian commented “I’m very excited to be joining such a talented team as Artemis Racing. It’s great to be united with old team mates such as Iain Percy, Adam May, Chris Brittle and Thiha “Winnie” Win, but also to have the opportunity to sail and work with some of the biggest natural talents in our sport in Nathan and Goobs.”

Christian has joined the team this week in the British Virgin Islands for the RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup, the first event of the 2014 RC44 Championship Tour.

Christina Kamp joins Artemis Racing in view of the 35th America’s Cup

Christian is joined by former ORACLE Team USA team member Richard Kent who will bring his expertise leading the Electronics unit. Kent is no stranger to the America’s Cup having competed in the last four, winning the 33rd edition with BMW ORACLE Racing in 2010 and successfully defending in San Francisco last summer. Richard also ran the electronics departments for winning Volvo Ocean Race teams ABN AMRO (2006/2007) and Ericsson Racing (2008/2009).

Artemis Racing is also delighted to welcome back Chay McIntosh, who served as Shore Team Manager in the last campaign. Chay has found success throughout his career, winning the 29th and 30th America’s Cups with Team New Zealand, and the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race with Ericsson Racing.

Iain Percy said “We continue to build our core team and have been working hard on securing the right people. I am very pleased to have Christian, Richard and Chay with us for the next cup; as I am sure each one of them will contribute with their talent, passion and expertise to reaching our goal. We have a very talented group from the previous challenge, but we have also been able to reinforce that experience in a number of key areas; making us much stronger. It has also been great to recognise our recent recruitments throughout the various areas of the campaign, as all contribute significantly to the end result.”

Artemis Racing announced earlier this month that it had secured the first phase of designers for the 35th America’s Cup with Michel Kermarec and Thiha “Winnie” Win joining returning designers Adam May and Nico Rousselon.

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